Celebrate Good Times (Even During COVID)

A couple weeks ago, the U.S. passed 500K deaths from COVID-19. So many others have lost their jobs, their businesses, their homes. They’re struggling in ways they weren’t even a year ago. There is so much chaos and hate. It’s staggering. This last year has been nonstop.

It’s been 363 days since I’ve been remote for work. I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to work safely from home – but I am still so saddened that I didn’t know until the week was over that this was happening – that the last time I was in the classroom with my students would be the last time I’d see them in person. The last time I’d set foot inside a classroom for a long time. Remember that hope? We thought moving remote for two weeks was all it would take. We’d be back soon.

It’s also been almost six months since I first signed a contract for publishing my first book. In the midst of chaos and uncertainty, a dream came true. I haven’t told a ton of people about it just yet, partly because it hasn’t felt real, or like something could still happen that will rip this dream right from my fingers – but also because it feels a bit out of touch to be celebrating (even when rationally I know it’s emotionally important to celebrate the good things at times like this). I was reading an article a few months back in Bustle, an interview with Dan Levy about the added success his show Schitt’s Creek has found amidst the pandemic. In the interview, he said, “There are moments when I think it is important for your sense of self to also be OK to say, ‘Something good happened to me this year, and I worked really hard for it.’” This struck a chord with me. (Also, if you haven’t seen the show, what are you doing??)

On Friday, I received my manuscript back from my editor. She had gone through and edited the first three chapters to give me an idea of what she is looking for, and I’m to take it through the rest of the book before handing it back. My initial reaction, of course, was an emotional one. Not a bad one, just emotional – this is my baby – and a woman I have never met is telling me what to do with it! I understand the process, though, so I allowed my feelings to romp for a bit, throw their little tantrum, run off to Kavarna for some lunch – and then I set those feelings in the corner for a timeout so that I could get to work.

All I want to do is edit my book. That’s it. Well, edit and sleep. But there is life to attend to – there is work and cleaning and cooking. I have cats demanding snuggles sans laptop. Even so, I’ve managed to edit my way through a third of the manuscript so far, and I’m feeling good about the process and how the story is filling out.

I’ve also started telling a few more people the last few days. This step in the process is making it feel a bit more concrete.

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